I am not anyone’s inspiration p0rn. Abbreviated inspo p0rn, apparently, which I appreciate. I was reading an Ask A Manager post about disability and the workplace, and it’s really frustrating how even the most woke of women (the vast majority of her commentariat are female-presenting people) felt the need to say that the actions of the company were well-intended before going on with their comment. It became almost comical because it was a compunction to note that the company was well-meaning.
Who the fuck cares? Intent is not magic and the knee-jerk reaction shows how little we value people with disabilities. But, the commenters said, it’s would be worse if they meant to be malicious! Would it really, though? The end result is the same. In fact, in some ways, the fact that they were trying to be nice, but missed the mark by so much is almost worse because as the comments showed, there was not an insignificant portion of people who feel that the OP should have been grateful, regardless of the delivery.
There was one commenter who was oddly insistent that the OP needed to apologize or at least treat her coworkers/manager with kids gloves because they (the manager/coworkers) had to be crushed that their ‘good intentions’ landed so flatly. The commenter said that she would have been devastated if that happened to her and the other person reacted so poorly (in her eyes). Which, while not helpful, does underscore the point that there are people who only care about their own feelings and their own intentions.
Several people tried to argue with this commenter, but she was not swayed. The feelings of the manager and coworkers were more important than the feelings of the person aggrieved! And to be clear, the actions of the coworkers/manager were egregious.
Side Note: The golden rule is a bad rule. Treating others as you would want to be treated is part of the problem in this case. The platinum rule (which was mentioned in the comments) is better. Treat others as THEY want to be treated. And in this case, it was so simple. They only had to ask her what she wanted. Instead, they did it all behind her back (including making a cartoon caricature of her to place on the handicapped sign in the parking lot!!!!) and made a big display of it, expecting her to be grateful.
There are so many things wrong with what they did, it’s hard to enumerate them all. And in the end, their intentions don’t matter because they did it all without her input. There’s a phrase for any minority group that goes something like ‘nothing about us without us’. It’s paternalistic to decide something for someone else without asking them what they want.
In my case, I have gone round and round about being inspo p0rn because of what happened to me seven months ago. I understand that it’s highly-unusual. In fact, I can comfortably use the word ‘miracle’ to describe it. I defied death–twice. I was hit with walking pneumonia, two cardiac arrests, and a stroke within twenty minutes. I should be dead. I’ve accepted that. The fact that I’m not dead IS a miracle. I accept that as well.